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Deb Haaland. Photo: Jim Watson-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate voted 51-40 on Monday to confirm Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) as President Biden's secretary of the Interior Department.

Why it matters: Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, is the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency.

  • Haaland in 2018 became one of the first two Native American women to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, alongside Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas).
  • The Interior Department oversees the federal government's relationship with 567 federally recognized tribes and 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The big picture: Haaland will play an important role in Biden's energy and climate agenda as her agency manages and sustains the country's public lands, including national parks, oil and gas drilling sites, and wildlife.

  • She told senators during her confirmation hearing that while "fossil energy does and will continue to play a major role in America for years to come," she supports Biden's focus on moving toward a clean energy future.

Haaland's opposition to fracking and drilling on federal lands has been criticized by Republicans who argue that ending the practices could cost thousands of jobs.

  • She responded to those concerns in her confirmation hearing, testifying that "America’s public lands can and should be engines for clean energy production" and that a clean energy transition "has the potential to spur job creation."

The intrigue: Haaland's nomination was strongly supported by Native Americans across the country. From the Navajo Nation to the Oglala Lakota, tribal members watched Haaland's confirmation hearings and posted messages of support on social media.

Go deeper

14 mins ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and up

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelming voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

37 mins ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."

Updated 53 mins ago - World

In reversal, Pentagon now says drone strike killed 10 Afghan civilians

Caskets for the dead are carried towards the gravesite as relatives and friends attend a mass funeral for members of a family that is said to have been killed in a U.S. drone airstrike, in Kabul on Aug. 30. Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A U.S. drone strike launched on Aug. 29 killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan, including seven children, rather than the Islamic State extremists the Biden administration claimed it targeted, the Pentagon said Friday.

Why it matters: U.S. Central Command said at the time that officials "know" the drone strike "disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat" to Kabul's airport, and that they were "confident we successfully hit the target."